Saturday 29 February 2020

Catching up

I'm playing catch up again. Life got in the way of playing and having fun but don't get in a panic it was just a real rush at work caused by a lot of staff being off sick with flu.I kept on telling my colleagues to have the flu jab. The university provides the flu jab for free for all staff who would like it. As I'm an ancient dinosaur I get it for free from the NHS and I'm really pleased to have it and so reduce the risk of being ill.

Although I'm playing catch up with blogging and answering emails I have managed to keep up with some sewing. As a result I'm happy to slide my post under the wire for the one monthly goal finish up post. Thank goodness that February has 29 days! Happy birthday to anyone reading who is celebrating their birthday and I have a question, which day do you celebrate on for the other years, February 28th or March 1st or better still both?

February OMG Finish  link-up is open!

At the beginning of the month I set myself a goal of completing the butterfly baby quilt. This quilt went going to one of my students as he and his partner are expecting a baby early in March. The student group decided a baby shower was needed and I provided the quilt. The students provided gifts to pamper and enjoy with a spa collection basket for the mom to be and spiced rum for soon to be dad. We had arranged for the little party to be this week and we all enjoyed some food after class. I'm pleased to say I finished the quilt in time. Unfortunately I forgot my camera and took the photo on my phone. I didn't check that the photo was in focus and the result is this blurry picture. Several students also took photos so I'll get one of them to email a none blurry photo next week.

Blurry or not I met my February goal. I also set myself the challenge of making the second baby quilt. This is going well. At the beginning of February this was just a pile of fabric waiting to be cut but now the quilting is almost finished.

I need to get a wriggle on with this quilt as the little girl was born last week. I will finish the quilting later today and hopefully get the binding done tomorrow. We should have been away this weekend but circumstances prevented that and so I have sewing time instead. Yippee!

I was also hoping to have finished the stitching on Constance but I'm not quite done yet. We have a film scheduled for watching tonight so I may be able to finish her this evening.

As well as finishing my monthly goal John and I enjoyed a two day break away. In my quilting magazine they were advertising a quilt show in a small market town not far from where we were staying so we decided to visit. I took some photos of my favourite quilts.

I loved this estuary shoreline and since bird watching is one of our hobbies John suggested I could make a quilt like this to hang down the long wall on the stairway. Now that is a challenge and I really want to take it up later this year.

The quilting on this was exquisite and echoed the joined rings. 

I loved this quilt and also totally recognised the problem of making a scrappy quilt to use up leftovers but then ending up with more scraps that need using at the end of the project. Another quilt just has to be made.

Many of the quilts used bright fabrics such as Kaffe Fassett . The colours echoed the spring day outside.

I took a photo of this quilt because the hexagons were very cleverly pieced together. 

John really liked this quilt and it is definitely pleasing to the eye. I told him to dream on or make one like it himself as it's unlikely I'll want to make a quilt with that many flying geese.

I'm linking this post with Patty from Elm Street Quilts for the February Finish One Monthly Goal Link up  Pop over and see what everyone has completed this month.The next thing on my checklist for today is to finish up the quilting on the baby quilt so I'll see you all later.


Monday 17 February 2020

Colour it Red

Today is day 2 of the Colour it Red blog hop organised by Carol from Just let me quilt. Thank you Carol for organising the hop and for letting me take part. I love these hops as I find lots of inspiration in the projects people are showing.  For the hop we had to make something red. I have been meaning to make some new cushions for my living room but just haven't made the time so far. So my choice of project was easy. 

I had a pattern in mind, one that I've made before and was really pleased with how it looked. The first time I made this pattern I made it in blue using liberty prints. I would have loved to have kept it but it was made and gifted to a friend for Christmas 2018.

I hunted out the pattern and then went through my boxes of fabric to find the reds. In December 18 my subscription box contained red fabrics which were perfect for this project.

Unusual for me I cut all the fabric pieces before I began the sewing, it made it easier to chain stitch the blades for the plate.

When I started the sewing the blades were the first thing I made. The pieces went together very easily. I took care to press the seams open when it was finished.

Once I had pieced the front I set about piecing the back.

Having finished the cushion I needed to take a final photo but in the time I'd left it unattended someone had taken it and was enjoying a nap. I gently slide the cushion out and took a photo

The cushion pad I used is too small for the cover but I didn't have time this weekend to buy one that was the right size because I was away with the Guides at winter camp.

Thank you for visiting today and now you need to visit the other people on the hop today;

February 18th

February 19th

February 20th
February 21st

What will you colour red?


Tuesday 11 February 2020

Just let me sew

I've several projects that I want to finish this month and I have a real chance of achieving it. Normally when I get in from work I'm usually quite tired and end up watching TV whilst doing some hand stitching. In order to complete my projects I need to do some sewing in an evening so the last two nights I've done just that. Last night I did some quilting on the butterfly baby quilt and tonight I started the sewing on my second baby quilt. This is the pattern I'm making.

I've finished sewing all the squares and half squares into rows and now I need to sew them to the sashing rows.

I won't have any time for sewing tomorrow as I have Brownies and Guides but Thursday evening I'll be able to get this quilt to flimsy stage. I love the fabrics that John chose and they look good together.

I'm not getting on very fast with stitching the binding onto the Christmas quilt. there are 280 inches to stitch down but doing my embroidery is much more interesting. I'm hoping to have the binding done by next week.

When I've finished these quilts I have several new projects to start. I can't wait, maybe I'll start a new project this weekend!


A visit to Somerset

Last weekend John and I headed to Somerset for two days. When we visited Midsomer Quilting back in December John had put a bid on one of the 12 inch quilts on display and in mid January he heard he'd made the best bid. We needed to pick up the quilt and I needed some fabric and wadding. We were able to combine our hobbies, visiting my favourite quilt shop with some bird watching and a walk. We left London early on Friday morning, stopping on the motorway for coffee and a danish pastry. We didn't rush the journey as we always enjoy the time we spend together when travelling. 

Our first port of call was Midsomer Quilting so I could buy supplies and John could pick up his mini quilt. We spent quite some time in the shop whilst I stroked the gorgeous fabric and John drank coffee and chatted to the staff. Once we had finished at the shop we headed towards Ham Walls and Shapwick Heath, both good bird watching places. We were hoping to see the Starling murmuration We spent time over the afternoon bird watching and admiring the cattle before we decided where to wait for the starlings to arrive.

We stood near a large reed bed to await their arrival and hoped we hadn't made a wrong guess. We needn't have worried for as dusk approached the birds began to arrive. The birds flew in as small groups which gradually joined together. 

 All the time more starlings were arriving until it felt like the whole sky above us was filled with birds. This wasn't the time to remember Alfred Hitchcock's film The Birds!

 The warden for the reserve estimated there could have been half a million starling flying round above our heads. The completed several aerobatic swoops and curves. Eventually they started to prepare to go to roost, with some birds settling on the reed bed before flying off again

Finally the birds sank to the reed bed and stayed there leaving a large area of the ground black. There were so many birds they made it look like the ground had been burnt.

The afternoon proved to be a fabulous bird watching experience. We drove back to our hotel to enjoy a cup of tea before getting ready to go out for dinner. I nearly decided to miss dinner as the bed was so comfortable.

On Saturday morning, following a very delicious breakfast, we set off to Bristol for our walk. The walk started at Leigh Woods. The path took us up hill and from the summit we could see the river far below

and looking the other way we had our first sight of the Clifton suspension bridge spanning the gorge.

We were now on a level with the bridge so we circled round the summit a little further before coming to a road . This eventually led to the main road across the bridge. Looking down into the gorge the cars seemed rather small.

Although the bridge was very high it was perfectly safe walking across it.

The bridge has footpaths on either side and two lanes for traffic. There is a toll to cross the bridge to help pay for its up keep.

We climbed the hill on the other side. looking back at the bridge it was impressive to see how high it was.

At the top of the hill was the observatory. We stopped here for lunch, It was extremely windy by the observatory.

From the observatory we headed down hill past an oak tree planted to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VII

At just over 100 years of age this tree still has to grow for another two hundred years before it's fully mature.

We went back up hill to a common and then down again so we could walk under the Clifton Bridge. We had to walk through a fenced area which housed 4 goats. We saw two in the distance. Their job was to nibble the bark off the trees which would cause them to eventually die and allow the rare wild flowers that grow in this area to flourish.

We walked under the bridge and then had to climb back up so we could cross over the bridge again to get to the Leigh Woods again and so back to the car. We celebrated the completion of the walk with a cup of coffee before we drove home.

Our mini adventure was great fun. Now I need to plan our February adventure. I know where we are going but we need to decide what we want to do when we get there. 

Tomorrow I'll up date you on the sewing that's been happening around here. Now I'm off to bed for a good nights sleep. Last night was rather disturbed due to the wind and the rain but tonight the weather is much calmer. My younger brother lives further north and he has had snow today but we just got rain. 


Sunday 9 February 2020

Sunday Stitching.

This weekend I managed to fit in a good amount of sewing time. Yesterday Kathryn came over for the day and in the evening Olly joined us for dinner. Kathryn and I spent some time chatting and did a bit of shopping but I also managed to make the quilt sandwich for the butterfly quilt. Today I decided to make a start on the quilting and completed stitching in the ditch between the blocks. At that point I stopped as I wanted to spend some time on other projects.

Yesterday I had also worked on my Colour it Red project for the blog hop later this month. I did a little more work on it this morning and a couple more hours will see this project finished. You'll have to wait until the hop for the photos.

I spent some time cutting the fabric for the second baby quilt. The mother of this baby was admitted to the labour ward today so I need to get a wriggle on with the quilt. The pattern I'm making is a charm square baby quilt by Elizabeth Hartman for Sew Mama Sew published in 2009. I used this pattern before and the quilt makes up very quickly.

I'm not using a charm pack so had to cut the 5 inch squares. Tomorrow evening I will start the stitching on this quilt. After that I settled down for some slow stitching. I started working on sewing on the binding of the Christmas quilt but I got a little tired of it so later I switched to stitching on Constance.  This is very relaxing and as I have a busy week this week I wanted to enjoy my slow stitching to the full. I'm going to finish all the skin colour tonight and also work on her hair.

I should have Constance finished this week if I'm lucky. It all depends on the weather and the traffic. If the traffic is heavy because of the weather than I don't have much time in the evening for stitching but if the weather is good and the traffic behaves I have more time to sit and stitch as my commute home is quicker.

I'm linking this post with Kathy from Kathy's Quilts for her Slow Sunday Stitching. Go and check out what everyone's been working on this week.


Friday 7 February 2020

February's goal

February OMG  link-up is open!

February is already well underway so I must identify my goal for the month. I have several projects that I need to get finished and preferably this month. To start with I'm taking part in the Colour it Red blog hop that starts on the 17th. The project I'm making is going well and will be completed this weekend. Here is a sneak peek at some of the fabric pieces.

Mmm I love red and white.

I have two baby quilts to make this month. One of the babies is due at the end of February, the other in early March and both babies are girls. I'm using the butterfly top I made for one of the quilts. 

Last weekend I picked up this green star fabric for the backing.

The blue fabric and red fat quarters are for a new project that I will start once I've finished the baby quilts.  I saw the stripey fat quarter and had to buy it just because I love it.

The second baby quilt I have to make from scratch. John bought some fabric in January when we were visiting Suffolk. I love these fabrics and I'm going to add some from my stash.

So what's my goal for this month? My goal is to complete the butterfly quilt as it will be gifted on the 25th February. I have the quilt sandwich to make , the quilting to do and then the binding. I'm away next weekend and then later in the month so I'll need to make sure I don't waste the time I've got.  I would also like to complete the second quilt but I'm not sure if that's feasible.

My secondary goal is to complete the embroidery on Constance. I started stitching these bag ladies in 2017 and want to get them together in a quilt top.

I'm linking this post with Patty from Elm Street Quilts for February One monthly Goal